Richard Carmen Santoro “Rick” transitioned peacefully October 31, 2022 at home in West Price Hill in his favorite leather chair surrounded by his family, as was his ardent wish. Rick was born to Jeanette Speller Santoro and Carmen Peter Santoro July 23, 1948 in Cincinnati Ohio. He spent his childhood enjoying life with his three beloved brothers growing up on Vacationland Drive, in Finneytown. Rick attended St. Vivian School and St. Xavier High School graduating from Roger Bacon High School in 1966. As a youth, Rick worked diligently at his father’s grocery store and butcher shop, Sandy’s, in the East End (Columbia Tusculum) area to earn his Catholic High School tuition. Rick also enjoyed playing football for his alma mater, Roger Bacon. Rick went on to study at The Ohio State University by working as a valet while finding shelter on friends’ couches and driving his small Honda CB 350 motorcycle back and forth between Cincinnati and Columbus. He discovered his passion when he found his way to a career in Education. At the age 24, as a young father of two, Rick worked fulltime while earning his K-12 teaching certificate eventually securing his first position as an English Teacher at Mother of Mercy High School between 1972-1975. His Cincinnati Public Schools career began in 1975 after graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of Cincinnati. His first CPS position began at the Behavioral Learning Center and then at Altercrest, a residential school operated by St. Joseph Orphanage, working with children with severe behavioral handicaps. Rick went on to teach Special Education at Hays-Porter Middle school in 1990 and completed his 35-year CPS career at Hughes High School where he was a Special Education Teacher from 1992 to 2007. During his years at Hughes, Rick was involved in school leadership serving on the school's Instructional Leadership Team. Throughout his tenure in CPS, Rick was deeply involved with the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers. He was elected as the union's first Director of Organization in 1981, helping establish union leadership in all CPS schools. In addition to serving on the CFT executive council, Rick was a union building representative during his career at Hughes High School. While teaching at Hughes, Rick first became an adjunct Professor at UC’s Teacher’s College then joined Mount Saint Joseph University, teaching Special Education courses in the school's Teacher Education Department. He moved to full-time instruction at MSJU after retiring from CPS in 2007. Providing valuable leadership during a crucial transitional period at MSJU, Rick served as the Chair of the Inclusive Early Childhood department from 2013-14 and accepted the position of Dean of the College of Education the following year, which he held until retiring in 2015. Rick embraced all aspects of Education and most enjoyed instructing students and mentoring student teachers forming many close relationships with students and teachers alike. When not teaching Rick enjoyed fishing, boating, target shooting, golfing, spending quality time with family and friends and playing poker with his close brotherhood of Educators. Known as “The Godfather” for his exceptionally kind selfless acts, Rick’s legacy as a Master Educator in Cincinnati is renowned. Pre-deceased by his beloved son Mark (Becky) Santoro, Rick leaves behind, his best friend, devoted champion and wife of 36 years, Gloria Teal Santoro, his children, Jaime Santoro (Jim) Bitzenhofer, Phillip (Kellie) Santoro and Isabella Santoro. His grandchildren, J.P. and Elise Bitzenhofer, Victor Santoro, Owen Santoro, Levi and Presley Hazen. Brothers, Lou (Jane), Mark (Lisa) and Bruce (Patti), 20 loving nieces, nephews, their spouses, great nieces and nephews, many close cousins, in-laws and their families who cherished their time with him deeply. Memorials may be directed to Glory Vine Ministries Int’l Inc. 501(c)(3) providing free services for those suffering from the traumatic loss of a loved one at www.gloryvineministries.org or to the University of Cincinnati Richard C. Santoro Scholarship Fund, to benefit a CPS graduate teaching, Special Education, at https://foundation.uc.edu.
Services are Friday, 11/11/22 at St. William Church. Visitation 4:30pm-6:30pm, Mass 7:00pm. Italian Wake at The Farm 8:00pm-12:00am. Ralph Meyer & Deters Funeral Home serving the family, www.rmdfuneralhome.com